Lesotho duo officiates in SA netball championships

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Leemisa Thuseho

NEO Orpen and Abiel Lekulo are officiating during the ongoing 2022 South Africa Men’s Netball National Championships.

The games started on Monday and are expected to end on Saturday in Upington, Northern Cape.

The duo was invited by Netball South Africa to the games.

Orpen is officiating at the tournament for the first time while Lekulo has officiated in the annual competitions since 2018.

Lesotho Netball Association (LNA) public relations officer, Telang Machela, told the Lesotho Times this week that the invitation was an opportunity for the umpires to gain exposure.

“This is a good opportunity for them to improve their umpiring standards,” Machela said.

“Umpiring at the international is lucrative, so for our umpires to earn international invitations, they must start in such events.”

On his part, Orpen, is also hopeful that the tournament will help him grow.

“I am very happy with this opportunity which will boost my international exposure. This my first time in this tournament and it just came after my first international event at the recent African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Games held in Lesotho last December.

“I am hopeful that this is proof that I am on the right track towards becoming one of Lesotho’s international umpires.

“The games help us gain knowledge regarding the application of rules in tight games. Coming back home, we will be able to mentor other umpires using the skills that we acquired while officiating at the highly competitive games.

“We are looking forward to a great performance and tournament also hoping that our work will earn us more similar invitations across the continent,” Orpen said.

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